With the new decade, there is a lot of talk of rebirth. Memes with phrases like “New Year, New You” abound on Instagram. We are certainly excited for what’s ahead, but instead of desiring to start over, we think of 2020 as the next stage in our evolution. We Drifters are sage explorers, lovers of the journey who seek to learn at every opportunity. Perhaps there is something that you’ve always been curious to try, like taking up a unique hobby (Fun fact: January is National Hobby Month)! Below you will find five hobbyist-friendly events that we hope will inspire you to continue logging miles, immersing in experiences, and building on what you learned in 2019.
Dates: November 23, 2019 – January 26, 2020
PSA: Winter in New York City is still fun after the holidays, and the Bronx Botanical Garden’s annual train show is proof! The show takes place in the venue’s gigantic greenhouse, and it is a display sure to impress everyone from the casual visitor to the ardent train collector. The trains roll along a mini landscape peppered with replicas of New York’s famous buildings and bridges. Not only will you learn something through the history placards at each stop, but also you will marvel at the sustainable construction. The display is cleverly made from the fallen branches, flowers, and other foliage from the Bronx Botanical Garden! It is one of those things you just have to see with your own eyes.
Dates: January 16 – 20, 2020
Birds are curious creatures that defy both gravity and beauty. There is something calming about watching them, and with all the goals you’re trying to crush in 2020, you’re going to need an injection of serenity. Florida’s North Shore Birding Festival is held every year in the middle of January. The festival welcomes experienced and novice birders and consists of five days of activities, including guest speakers, photography seminars, dinners, and tours including a “woodpecker extravaganza.” Last year, there were 144 different bird species spotted! So, grab your binoculars and your tickets, and head to Central Florida. As a bonus for those who need some pampering after the stint in the wilderness, the event is only a short drive to Orlando attractions.
Dates: May 2-3, 2020
Woodworking isn’t just for flannel-shirted grandfathers and fans of Parks & Recreation’s Ron Swanson. The Great Lakes Woodworking Festival is a beautiful woodland event where you can take a hands-on woodworking class from a number of master artisans or peruse the pop-up shops of over 40 artists who make everything from furniture to instruments. The event takes place the first weekend in May and is a scenic and craftsy escape for the weekend. General admission is FREE and includes demonstrations, local musical performances, and more.
Dates: August 17-23, 2020
Did you know that Washington state is home to the World Kite Museum? In addition to being a really fly museum (dad jokes 4EVA), the World Kite Museum also hosts one of the biggest kite festivals in the world! The Washington State International Kite Festival is a FREE weeklong event filled with all sorts of neat activities, including history lessons, kite-crafting seminars, and of course, lots of kite-flying! Attendees are encouraged but not required to bring any kite they have, either store-bought or home-made.
Dates: October 3-11, 2020
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an event where enthusiasts and beginners can get an up close look at the sport and science of ballooning. Whether you want a low-key experience, just walking around, enjoying live music, and watching balloon flights, or if you are more interested in learning about how balloons are made, there is something for everyone. The event takes place early to mid-October, a period of wonderfully warm weather in Albuquerque, and there are hotel, camping or glamping accommodations available!